Wigan schools receive £5m grant for healthy food and activities

Schoolchildren in Wigan will benefit from a new grant programme launching this summer which will help give them a healthier, more active, stronger start in life.

The first year will allow 5,300 to apply for the support funding in order to provide pupils with the nutritious food they need throughout the day and resources to keep them pysically active.

Supported by the UK communiyt charity known as Groundwork, the scheme will replace the current Tesco Community Grants funding programme, focusing on schools that lack the funding necesssary to boost young people’s mental and physical wellbeing.

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Research shows that 78 per cent of schools are currently having to provide food for children with their own budget, with 800,000 children living in poverty but also not eligible for free school meals as found by Child Poverty Action Group.

Tesco hopes to provide schools with up to £1,500 for fruit and snacks for children.Tesco hopes to provide schools with up to £1,500 for fruit and snacks for children.
Tesco hopes to provide schools with up to £1,500 for fruit and snacks for children.

Jason Tarry, Tesco UK CEO, said: “Tackling classroom hunger is vitally important in helping children get a stronger start in life. Children with enough food have more energy, better concentration and ultimately do better in school. As a business that is at the heart of communities, we know that urgent action is needed to improve the lives and prospects of young people. We hope our initiative will help families and schools that are struggling to keep children fed.”

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Schools will be able to apply for grants of up to £1,500 via Groundwork that can go towards providing fruit for breakfast clubs or snacks to enjoy throughout the day.

Successful applications will go to a customer vote in their local Tesco store, two out of the three blue token voting boxes by the checkout will be dedicated to local schools with the third given over to local community projects nominated by each store’s colleagues.

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Customers will then have the chance to choose which of the projects they’d like to support by voting with a blue token.

The initiative will also be boosted by Tesco’s Golden Grants events, seeing them give away £1million last year to mark reaching £100m worth of funding to more than 50,000 commmunity projects.

Graham Duxbury, Groundwork’s UK Chief Executive, said: “Schools are at the heart of our communities, and we have supported thousands of projects led by teachers and parents. We know that schools are now doing everything they can to help families cope with the rising cost of living, but that school budgets are also under huge pressure.

"We’re really pleased that through the Tesco programme, we can now focus attention on helping schools provide extra support to those who need it most - helping families make ends meet and helping children learn and flourish.”

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